Air Force surveys industry for companies to develop next-gen airborne laser weapons

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – U.S. Air Force combat aircraft experts are looking over industry to determine the state of the art in airborne laser weapons technology, and the companies best able to provide it.

Apr 17th, 2017
Content Dam Mae Online Articles 2017 04 Airborne Laser Weapon 13 April 2017
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – U.S. Air Force combat aircraft experts are looking over industry to determine the state of the art in airborne laser weapons technology, and the companies best able to provide it.

Officials of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., have issued a source-sought notice (FA8656-17-R-0005) for the Airborne Tactical Laser Technology request for information.

Air Force officials are conducting a technology survey to determine the current state of laser weapon system technology suitable for near-term applications in a prototype airborne tactical laser weapon.

Air Force laser weapons experts are trying to improve their understanding of industry's state-of-the-art laser capabilities and their costs to support weapon system integration studies and identify industry participants in future laser weapon system procurements.

Experts are thinking about developing a fieldable airborne prototype laser weapon to learn about real-world effectiveness and supportability. This RFI will help them assess the feasibility, cost, schedule, and risk of building such an airborne laser weapon prototype.

Related: Northrop Grumman moves to next phase of DARPA aircraft laser missile-defense program

Specifically, Air Force experts want more information from industry on currently available technologies in laser sources, electrical power, thermal management, beam control, battle management, and any other subsystems required for system operation.

These subsystems must be able to operate in a flight environment. Although Air Force experts have not chosen a specific aircraft type for a future airborne laser weapon prototype, they are trying to keep the laser weapon's weight and volume to a minimum.

The Air Force wants more information in airborne laser weapon performance, size and weight, cost, schedule, and risk for each concept that industry submits. Officials also are interest in industry's thoughts on airborne laser weapons concepts of operations and concepts of employment.

The Air Force wants any of industry's suggestions on the best approach to conducting a prototype laser weapon acquisition that could speed-up eventual fielding of tactical laser weapons.

Related: Advanced Tactical Laser weapon from C-130H aircraft defeats ground target in flight test

Companies interested should submit white papers no later than 17 May 2017 by secure email or secure Website to the Air Force's Capt. Jonathan Esquivel at jonathan.esquivel.2@us.af.mil, with copies to Todd Davis at todd.davis.16@us.af.mil and Charles Helms at charles.helms.1@us.af.mil.

The Air Force may or may not choose to meet with respondents after white papers are submitted.

Email technical questions or concerns to Charles Helms at charles.helms.1@us.af.mil; and contractual questions to Capt. Jonathan Esquivel at jonathan.esquivel.2@us.af.mil, and Todd Davis at todd.davis.16@us.af.mil.

More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/notices/78195c21dac09b9c01b749750632ae16.

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